Lacson bats for strict e-sabong regulation as Duterte denied Senate's halt bid | Inquirer News

Lacson bats for strict e-sabong regulation as Duterte denied Senate’s halt bid

/ 02:31 PM March 16, 2022
Lacson bats for strict e-sabong regulation as Duterte denies Senate's halt bid

Presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson during a press conference in Maddela, Quirino on Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022. Photo from Lacson-Sotto media bureau

MADDELA, Quirino — Presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday underscored the need for a “strict regulation” of e-sabong activities after President Rodrigo Duterte rejected the call of senators to stop its operations.

Lacson pointed out the social cost of online cockfighting, but he also acknowledged that its continued operation in the country is the decision of the executive department.

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“Kung ayaw i-suspend—anyway executive decision ‘yan ‘di ba? Kung i-suspend o hindi, kung may desisyon na as a matter of policy na ‘wag i-suspend, at least man lang yung strict regulation kasi hindi nare-regulate eh,” the senator said in a press conference here.

(If they don’t want to suspend it—anyway it’s an executive decision right? If they do suspend or not, if there’s a decision that’s already a matter of policy not to suspend, at least there should be strict regulation because it is not regulated.)

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“Dapat talaga mahigpit y’ung regulatory authority na ie-exercise ng Pagcor (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.) sa e-sabong…Ang masama kasi ‘pag online, ‘pag online sabong, ‘yan ang masama kasi walang control eh,” he added.

(The regulatory authority being exercised by Pagcor should be strict…What’s bad if it’s online, it’s hard to control.)

In a public address aired earlier Wednesday, Duterte justified the continued operations of e-sabong in the country, citing the billions in revenue it generates.

Senators, including Lacson, earlier strongly called on Malacañang and the Pagcor to suspend e-sabong operations in the country until the case of at least 30 cockfight enthusiasts who disappeared is resolved.

“Napakalaki ng social cost. Maraming OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) hindi makauwi kasi nauubos na ang pamasahe pauwi. Maraming mga bata nalulong, mga magulang ang sumasagot ng kanilang gastos sa e-sabong, may nagsu-suicide,” Lacson continued.

(The social cost is huge. Many OFWs can’t go home because their fare to fly back home has gone to e-sabong. Many kids have become addicted and their parents are shouldering their e-sabong expenses, there are people committing suicide.)

“May mga pulis nalulong, nangho-holdap,” he added.

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(There are police officers who become addicted, resorting to holdup.)

Pagcor collected over P3.6 billion from eight e-sabong licensees from April-December 2021, according to its chairperson Andrea Domingo. From January to March 15, Pagcor was able to collect P1.3 billion from seven licensees, she added.

Domingo said the suspension of e-sabong will not be enough to stop the activity, asserting it will only lead to more illegal e-sabong activities.

But according to Lacson, Pagcor should keep a close eye on the revenues being generated through e-sabong operations.

“Lakasan ‘yung regulatory authority ng Pagcor or closely i-monitor pati ‘yung revenues, baka mamaya hindi pa sapat ‘yung nakukuha sa actual na kinikita ng e-sabong or online sabong,” he added.

(Strengthen the regulatory authority of Pagcor or closely monitor the revenues, because what if the revenues being collected are not equivalent to the actual income of e-sabong operators.)

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TAGS: e-sabong, Nation, News, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson
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